Rehash - Episodes 501-503
Before we launch into this week’s recap, I confess my hurried attempt to shoe-horning three episodes into one post last weekend led me to miss a few key observations from the first three episodes of the season. So, with all due thanks to Doc Jensen at ew.com, and even more thanks to Libbe and company at http://www.lostusers.com/, a few additional points worth discussing:
1. The notion of “rules.” Notice how pointedly Pierre Chang said there were rules for time travel, and the inability to alter the past. Now recall back to the horrifying moment when Keamy executed Alex. Ben’s somewhat non sequitur response at the time was, “he changed the rules.” Eventually, we were led to believe that there is some sort of code of honor between Ben and Widmore that prevented them from harming each other, or their families. But now that we’re in full-on time travel mode, consider this possibility: perhaps Ben’s ability to always seem a few moves ahead, and his willingness to constantly put himself in harm’s way, all stem from the fact that he has already travelled through time, or received messages about the future. Perhaps Ben honestly thought he knew that Alex survived into adulthood, which was the real reason for his extra-Bushy “bring-it-on” dare to Keamy to shoot Alex. And then, the unthinkable happened – the universe did not course correct to protect Alex. Meaning the rules (of time travel) had been changed.
2. On causality. After one of the early flashes, Locke looked up to suddenly see the African drug plane crashing onto the island. Let’s assume for a moment the island itself is constantly disappearing and reappearing in space even as the left-behinders move through time (after all, it physically disappeared when Ben turned the wheel, and Ms. Hawking’s computer seemed to have plotted any number of locations around the Pacific and Indian Oceans before finally determining where the island would reappear). Perhaps the reason a small plane that left Central Africa managed to crash on a South Pacific island was precisely because the island was not in the South Pacific at the time. Indeed, as Libbe theorized, perhaps the island’s sudden appearance was what caused the plane to crash (disturbances in atmospheric pressure, etc.). Now, imagine another, even bigger time jump into the past. This one would also send the island off the coast of Africa…and directly under a slaving ship. A slaving ship called (dramatic music sting) the Black Rock!
3. On Ms. Hawking being Daniel’s mother. We’ve certainly been led to believe that Ms. Hawking, the church-basement physicist and pawn shop curator, is Daniel Faraday’s mother. There was another, far more subtle clue to this – Dan’s rat. Remember in “The Constant,” that Daniel’s rat was named “Eloise?” It turns out, and those of you who watched the “enhanced” replay of this season’s second episode last week saw this, that Ms. Hawking’s first name is also Eloise. What’s more, the young woman Other in 1954, the one who Daniel thought looked familiar to him, was named Ellie. Ellie was the one to whom Daniel revealed he had traveled through time. Fast forward 50+ years, and Eloise Hawking is an expert in time travel. Not only that, but Ellie was roughly the same age as Charles Widmore in 1954, and they seemed to make up the Others’ British contingent. Is it so hard to believe that, decades later, in the late 90s, both Ellie and Charles would find themselves messing about in the life of Desmond Hume, a “uniquely and magnificently special” oddity in the rules of time travel? Hmmmmm???
That’s all for the “past” – on to this week’s episode, entitled “The Little Prince.”
A return to past events we’ve already seen! A possible glimpse at the future!! Ben’s manipulations revealed!!! And two characters we thought were too “dead” to show up again return!!!! All of this and more in episode 504, “The Little Prince.”
Oceanic 6 - Flashback
The episode opened with another 3-years-ago flashback, this time to the night before the on-deck meeting of the future Oceanic 6 in which they agreed to lie about their story. Here, Jack talks to Kate on the deck of Searcher. Kate has Aaron with her, and the start of her bond to the baby has already begun. She knows him well now – for example, she knows he’ll be able to sleep straight through their conversation. Jack approaches Kate first with his “we have to lie” plan. Trying to sell her on the notion that it would protect Sawyer, who he doesn’t believe is dead, Jack is taken aback by Kate’s resigned response – “I know, but he’s gone.” Kate, thinking out loud, says she wants to tell the world that Aaron was hers, because she couldn’t bear to lose another member of their ersatz family (as we’re reminded later in the episode, Kate is also the one who, alone in the jungle, helped Claire bring Aaron into the world, so there’s always been a connection). Jack asks if she’ll help him convince the others to lie. In a touching moment, she responds, “I’ve always been with you.”
Oceanic 6 – the Present
Kate leaves Aaron with Sun in the hotel suite to go confront meanie-pants lawyer Dan Norton. As Kate leaves, Sun takes delivery of a folder – containing photos of Ben with Jack – and a box of chocolates, in which a pistol is hidden under the top layer. We’re not told who made the delivery, and the new alliance with Charles Widmore certainly suggests it could have been him, but for now, we’ll have to chalk this up as one of those things we just don’t know.
Kate has her meeting with Norton, and offers to provide the blood samples in exchange for face time with Mr. Norton’s client. He says he’ll pass along the message – he has a meeting with the client later that day – but doubts the client will agree. He sternly tells Kate she got herself into this situation, and says she needs to be prepared to lose Aaron.
Back in the hospital, Jack checks on Sayid. He says Ben won’t hurt Hurley, but before he can convince his paranoid friend, he is yanked out by the hospital’s director of clinical services, who reminds Jack (and tells us) that his hospital privileges were suspended on charges of substance abuse. The meeting is interrupted by a cameo call from Hurley in “the joint,” telling Jack he’s alright, and that Jack should tell Sayid that Hugo did what he was told, and stayed clear of Ben. Meanwhile, another tranq-wielding attacker – this one disguised as an orderly – tries to get the jump on Sayid. His attempt is about as successful as the ones that came before, and, after tranquing his attacker, Sayid opens the man’s wallet, where he finds an address – 42 Panoramic Crest. Jack enters, with Ben (Sayid loooooves this), and Jack tells Sayid the address is Kate’s. Oh no! Danger!!!
When Jack calls Kate to check on her, she’s in her car, staking out Norton’s office to see if she can spot the client. Kate says she’s fine, and that Aaron is with Sun, who is in L.A. Never quite able to quit Jack, when he says he needs to see her, she tells him where she is. Sayid won’t let Ben anywhere near Hurley alone, but then agrees to go with him and insists on driving Ben’s van – which has the name “Canton-Rainier” on the side. (A quick bit of unscrambling gives us “reincarnation,” and perhaps a suspicion on just what Ben has in mind for Locke’s body). Jack tells them to get Hurley and meet at the Long Beach Marina.
In front of Norton’s office, Kate admires Jack’s clean-shaven look. He says he needed a change. Kate says she can’t be dealing with Jack’s situation right now, and he needs to go. Under very mild pressure, she relents and tells Jack about Norton wanting to take Aaron and her plan to confront the mystery client. Norton pulls out, so Jack jumps in, and they follow…to a motel.
Jack says so what, if the person who wants Aaron is there, they can get Aaron and put their heads together, and figure out a plan…but then they see Claire’s mom open her door for Norton. Norton runs back to his car in the rain. Kate prepares to drive off, despairing that Mrs. Littleton knows about Aaron. Jack suggests he go talk to her, and says he can explain, and “fix this.” (Old habits apparently die hard for Jack). Aaron is his family, too, he reminds kate. Kate smiles through her tears, then nods. Jackfinds Mrs. Littleton holds a picture of Claire. He admits to following Norton, and immediately starts saying everything they’ve done has been for Aaron. Claire’s mom has no idea what he’s talking about – she’s in town to collect a settlement from Oceanic relating to the crash. Jack relates this to Kate, who points out the coincidence of Claire’s mom not being the client who wants to take her granddaughter from Kate. Jack tells her to drive to Long Beach and call Sun to summon her along.
Aside – what a terrific fake-out! Many of us had surmised that this would be a Kate-Aaron episode. One of the primary sources of spoilers about the show is the fact that guest stars are listed in press materials for new episodes. Anyone who read the brief blurb (myself included) knew that both Dan Norton and Claire’s mom would be in this episode. Mystery client identified! But, D’oh we got faked out! I personally wouldn’t put it past the Powers That Be to write in the Mrs. Littleton coincidence just so they could release the fact that the character would appear in the episode to fool the spoiler hunters. Well played, gentlemen!
Ben asks Sayid why he tried to rescue Hurley – another of Lost’s great unanswered bits of dialog. Ben directs him to pull the van into a garage…where Norton gets out of a car. Norton says the D.A. has no case against Reyes – the judge won’t let the case get past a preliminary hearing in the morning. Sayid asks who that was. Ben – “that’s my lawyer.”
Aside 2 – well, that mystery didn’t take long to solve. With only 30 hours to go in the series it would seem new mysteries can’t spend too much time as lingering mysteries before they’re solved. Ben being the client was a common theory online – his method to scare Kate out of her idyllic existence and, perhaps, back to the island.
Jack and Kate drive up to the dock in Long Beach. Kate asks why Jack was so worried today, in particular? He shows her the address, and tells her about the attack on Sayid. “We need to get you and Aaron someplace safe.” “Safe from who?” she asks. She thinks her question is answered when Ben pulls up and says hello…only Sayid is with him. Jack quickly says – “it’s ok, he’s with me.” “He’s with you?” Kate asks incredulously. She realizes he’s the one trying to take Aaron… and Ben admits it! He says he won’t leave them alone, “because he’s not your son, Kate.” Sun looks on from another car, where she has Aaron. She eyes the gun in her purse, then gets out of the car…
Aside 3 – during the first three episodes (or really, the first two, since they weren’t in the third), the Oceanic 6 and Ben were largely just doing set-up work, putting themselves in position. This week they finally got to do something, even if it was largely connective to the real drama starting next week.
Aside 4 – just what kind of lawyer is Mr. Norton? He can handle Ben’s family law case, Hurley’s criminal case, and Mrs. Littleton’s wrongful death case? How…renaissance of him!
When we return to the island, it’s 10 minutes since our left-behinders jumped away from 1954. Charlotte is still down, and Miles brings her water from a stream. Juliet asks what Daniel has to tell her, since he’s obviously hiding something. He admits he thought it might happen to her. The flashes throw off the internal clock – “really bad jet lag” – The question at this point is, why just Charlotte?
Locke tells Sawyer they have to go back to the Orchid. They’ll get there faster if they return to the beach and take the Zodiac. He explains that he has to leave to bring their friends back, even if it kills him. Knowing which button to push, Locke asks, “don’t you want her to come back?” Sawyer responds, hopelessly - it doesn’t matter what I want.
Charlotte wakes up. It takes a moment before she recognizes Daniel. Sawyer tells them all they’re going to the Orchid. Sawyer asks Locke what he’ll say to Kate to come back, since she was so excited to leave (seriously, James, I don’t think that’s all about you). They see, in the distance, the light shooting up from the Swan. Locke says they need to stay clear of it. Daniel asks if he knows when they are. Locke just says they need to keep moving.
Aside – we of course know that the light was turned on by Desmond, who was trying to figure out what the banging noise outside the hatch was. As Locke later explains in this episode, he was having a crisis of faith after Boone died working with him.
Charlotte’s headache improves, but Miles starts to bleed from his nose. They hear screams – Sawyer goes to look with his gun…and sees Kate helping Claire deliver Aaron. He’s very emotional, but doesn’t move out of the bushes. After another flash, Locke asks what he saw, but Sawyer says not to worry, it’s gone now.
A further reminder of what happened waaaaay back in Season 1 – Aaron was born at roughly the exact same time Boone died. Jack’s treating Boone was why he wasn’t there to deliver Aaron.
Locke asks again who Sawyer saw. They both know when they were, so who was it? Sawyer and Locke debate whether they should have tried to save themselves from some of the mistakes they would make after that night, but Locke says no, he needed the pain he suffered through after that to get to where he is now.
Daniel theorizes that bleeds happen faster the more time you’ve spent on the island. Since we already know (sort of) that Charlotte was born there, it makes sense that she would be first. But why would Miles come next? Pointedly, as though he knows the answer, Daniel asks Miles, “are you sure you’ve never been here before two weeks ago?”
Aside – perhaps another Lost fake-out, but isn’t it pretty clear that Miles is Pierre Chang’s baby from the season’s opening sequence? But Miles doesn’t seem to remember having lived there, so the question remains, how did he leave? And why?
The camp is back on the beach…but everything looks used up and spent, including even Vincent’s leash. To me, this says they’re in “the future” – or at least a time they didn’t get to naturally yet. The zodiac is gone, and so are the other people (Rose, Bernard, Vincent, any other still-living extras). But there are canoes, carrying bottled water from Ajira airways.
Aside – Ajira has slowly been worming its way into Lost, much as Oceanic did back in the day. In fact, there has, for a while now, been an active website at http://ajiraairways.com/. The company motto – “Destiny Calls,” is also the catch phrase on the posters promoting the current season of Lost. I haven’t looked past the home page, so no big insights. But you will, on the front page, see weather reports from any number of cities – each of which is connected to Lost (Ames, Iowa – not a big stop for an international carrier, but the place where Kate blew up her dad). My question here is...did an Ajira plane crash in the future? Will it be the one to bring the Oceanic 6 back? Must there be a shipwreck or plane crash every time the island reappears? For that matter, was it Sayid shooting at Sawyer and company in the trailing canoe?
Locke suggests they not wait for the people to come back. They take a canoe, and start rowing. Miles complains about the lack of a motor boat. Sawyer starts to tell Juliet about having seen Kate.
Aside – who else is rooting for the Sawyer-Juliet chemistry to kick it up a notch? Wouldn’t the Sawyer/Kate/Jack/Juliet quadrangle make for some good drama?
Bullets start flying towards them from another canoe, trailing behind them Juliet says they’re not Ohers, and Sawyer’s oar catches a bullet. Juliet starts shooting back, when another flash hits. Suddenly, the attackers are gone, but the left-behinders are in a nighttime storm. They paddle for the shore. When they beach, they can’t tell where they are in the dark. Lightning flashes. Juliet starts to get Sawyer to again talk about seeing Kate, and asks how it felt to see her again. In one of Josh Holloway’s best-delivered lines on Lost, he laments, “I was close enough to touch her. I wanted to go right up and talk to her.” He didn’t, he said, because “what’s done is done.”
Aside - I wonder if Locke and Sawyer’s instinct to stay clear of their past selves is really their own instinct at all? After all, if they start talking to their past selves, might they not change history? And since, as we know, there are “rules,” perhaps this urge to avoid themselves is time/space’s first way of protecting itself? Or not.
Juliet springs a nose bleed. Suddenly, Charlotte calls to them – there’s debris, wreckage, that looks like it just happened. There are parts in French.
Offshore, there’s a raft, where the survivors speak French.
C’mon – if you couldn’t tell where this was going, you should be very ashamed at yourself!
The woman on the raft points towards someone in the water. The rafters paddle, and find a body floating on a plank. It’s Jin!!!!
Again, if you didn’t think Jin was alive, you should be embarrassed. Every other key death has happened right on screen. And every actor whose character has died on Lost has immediately hit the interview circuit. But not only did Daniel Dae Kim stay away from the press after Jin apparently blew up last year, but his name has been in the credits as a regular all season long!
On shore, Jin wakes up and sees the Frenchies. They have guns. The young woman understands some English. Jin says he got there on a boat. It’s gone. She assumes they were caught in the same storm. One of them – Montande??? – doubts the story. The woman backs him off. She is pregnant. Another man brings a cantine – she says merci, Robert. Jin thanks her. She introduces herself as Danielle Rousseau.
Yippee!!! Could we, at long last, get the long-awaited Rousseau backstory! We will see Montande lose his arm in the dark territory!! Unless, of course, our characters flash away again too soon. Don’t you do that, Damon and Carlton. Don’t you dare!!
Seriously, they had always said that some particular event had to happen before we could get Rousseau’s flashback. It’s pretty clear what they were talking about – Ben’s turning the wheel and sending the island careening through time.
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Until next week's episode, "This Place is Death,"…Namaste!